MMA  > General MMA  > Interview: Dan 'the Outlaw' Hardy
May 8, 2009, 12:24 AM
Excerpts (length) from MMA interview:

Dan 'The Outlaw' Hardy started training at the age of six in Tae Kwon Do. He progressed through to black belt and then started training in different styles, and in 2002 he traveled to China to train with the Shaolin monks. When he returned he entered an amateur Mixed Martial Arts tournament and after realizing his weakness was his grappling skills he began to cross-train in several styles and in 2004 began to compete professionally.

Since then he has held the Cage Warriors Welterweight World Title and is the current Light-Welterweight Champion and also the UK Storm British Champion.

He has fought in America, Europe, and Japan. His last two fights have been in foe the UFC, where he has beaten two highly ranked fighters in Akihiro Gono and Rory Marham, this has moved him up to just outside the Top Ten in the world rankings.

Dan spends half of his time training in Nottingham, England with Team Rough House, alongside some other up-and-coming UK stars, and the other half of his time in Los Angeles at the Legends Gym, under highly respected Jui Jitsu instructor Eddie Bravo. And now he sits down with MMA Spot to discuss his up coming fight with Marcus Davis, the pressures of a nation, and more.


* How is your preparation going for Marcus Davis?
It???s going really well, I did my first six weeks in L.A. and now I am back in the U.K. for the last six weeks.

* Will you be training any differently for this opponent?
I always tailor my training to my opponent; I am refreshing my memory of how to fight southpaws for Davis. The last six weeks of the camp is specifically around game plan, I have a bunch of new techniques from the first half of the camp to work with. Now I concentrate on putting them into practice.

* We've heard where Davis has dared you stand and trade with him, and his "take it to the ground....scared" statements in the past. Are you letting any of this in? What may be your game plan for the fight?
I haven???t heard that yet actually. I just assumed he looked at my record and thought there is no chance I would try anyway. I don???t think it will be a surprise to anyone that I plan on keeping it standing.


* Other than Bisping, you are arguably the most popular U.K. fighter out there, does that add any additional pressure?
It does, but that suits me. I work better when the expectations are high and the odds stacked against me. It is encouraging to know that I have the UK fans behind me, and I go out there and fight hard for them.

* UFC has obviously seen something valuable in you. Do you think it's more about you as a fighter, or about reaching out into the U.K. for more stars?
I think it???s a little bit of both. I feel I am in the UFC, regardless of my nationality as I have won the right fights at the right time. I???m sure it doesn???t hurt to have another value to the UFC though. The UK fighters are proving that we are catching up with the rest of the world. That was one of my motivations to keep fighting. I had my heart set on a UFC career and I am confident that I would have gotten there at some point. It is an added bonus that the UFC is moving into Europe at the same time I get my shot.

* Are U.K. fighters starting to catch up with Americans?
Definitely! But at the same time, I feel the UK is adapting the sport too. I think there is a definite 'British style' of fighting that is developing as guys are getting further in the sport. What we lack in technique, we make up for in violence.

* What would you consider your career highlight to this point?
My last fight, without a doubt. Fighting at the O2 Arena in London, in front of thousands of British fans and scoring a highlight reel KO. That was electric.


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